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PHOTOS: Baby Hedgehogs Rescued In Cornwall

PHOTOS: Baby Hedgehogs Rescued In Cornwall

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 12:25pm 13th August 2015. (Updated at 2:39pm 13th August 2015)

Three rescued baby hedgehogs have been set free in Cornwall.

Cornwall's Crealy joined forces with hedgehog rescue centre 'Prickles & Paws' to release the hoglets, into the wild.

Three hoglets, including hand-reared Wan, and a fully grown male, Gromit, were set free on Crealy's farmland following their rehabilitation at the busy rescue centre at Cubert near Newquay.

Steve Masters, Crealy's Animal Manager, said: "We're really happy to be supporting Diane and Katy who run this amazing organisation entirely on their own through donations. With so much land here at the park and plenty of hedges, there's lots of space for the hedgehogs to find shelter and begin their new lives in the wild."

Diane South, who co-founded the charitable organisation with daughter Katy, said: "It's a full-time job looking after the hedgehogs. We began six years ago and are beginning the process of becoming a registered charity. We are having our busiest year so far. It's brilliant that Crealy is offering hedgehogs this unique support and increasing public awareness of how to help hedgehogs as we move into autumn and winter."

Last year Prickles & Paws helped 188 hedgehogs at its rescue centre.

In 2015, the organisation has already helped 131 hedgehogs with its busiest time, the autumn, still to come, and it expects to greatly exceed last year's total.

Hedgehog numbers are on the decline nationally according to a 2011 survey, The State of Britain's Hedgehogs, undertaken by The British hedgehog Preservation Society.

It cites the likely causes as intensive agriculture, pesticide use resulting in the reduction of food sources, and in urban areas, tidier gardens which decrease suitable habitats.

The hedgehogs' stories are varied as Diane explains: "The juvenile hedgehog, Wan, was brought in by a member of the public from Helston as a very young hoglet and was hand-raised by us. Gromit, the adult, was brought in via the RSPCA."

Autumn sees Prickles & Paws working hard to support increasing numbers of hedgehogs.

Katy said: "You can help hedgehogs this autumn by leaving out dog or cat food, but not fish flavours as hedgehogs don't eat seafood. Also leave some water in a bowl they can reach, and to ensure no cats or dogs can reach the food, an upturned plastic crate with a hole 13cm x 13cms cut into it at ground level is an effective barrier.

"Also remember as it gets towards bonfire night in November that hedgehogs are very likely to be hiding in the bonfire. Likewise, if you're strimming the garden during late summer, please check for them first."

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